American Legion wants name removed and donations returned from veterans memorial park
The legion wants a refund in all donations because, they say, some bricks were not engraved properly. Kendrick said some of the achievements listed under a soldier's name are not even possible.
"The soldier received three bronze service stars," said Kendrick, pointing to an engraved brick, "There is no such thing as an award that says three bronze service stars."
He explained a distinction, and often confusion, between a Bronze Star and a Bronze Service Star. The Bronze Star is awarded for valor, meritorious service and achievement, while the Bronze Service Star denotes the participation in a military campaign or battle.
It is very rare for even the most decorated veterans, Kendrick said, to be awarded multiple Bronze Stars.
The Murray County Veterans Memorial Committee is in charge of fact-checking the information before each brick is engraved.
"It is their responsibility to verify the information, it's their responsibility to tell the family or the third party purchaser if the information they're claiming is incorrect," Kendrick said, "And its their responsibility not to put it on the brick if its not correct."
Members of the original Veterans Memorial Committee said all of the bricks that were once labeled wrong have been fixed.
"They say there's 36 more names that are incorrect," said committee member Joe Harrison, "We have asked the commander for those names and he has refused to show us or give us a copy of that."
She said she created a review committee with two members of the American Legion, two members of the Veterans Memorial Committee, and four other members to try and come to a compromise.
This was after she took the position as County Commissioner, but before the American Legion sent her office the letter.
Pittman said she is currently looking over the letter to see if there is anything the government can do legally regarding the naming rights and donations made to the Veterans Memorial Committee by the American Legion Post 167.